Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has filed a lawsuit against the Oklahoma Department of Health because it has withdrawn funding from three Tulsa-area clinics that had previously received Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program funding from the state.
The WIC program is designed to provide nutritional food and guidance to low-income families at a reasonable cost. According to a statement from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Planned Parenthood is the only WIC provider whose funding was not renewed in October. In part, Planned Parenthood stated, "We call on the State to allow us to continue to be a place Oklahoma women and families can trust for these health services. Politics should never interfere with a woman's access to health services - or food for her children."
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland alleges in their lawsuit that the Oklahoma Department of Health has yet to provide any factual evidence supporting termination of the three clinics from the program. According to the Associated Press, health department officials have declined to comment on the matter, but in the past have said that Planned Parenthood's cost per person is higher than other participant centers.
Media Resources: Planned Parenthood of the Heartland 10/4/12; ABC News 11/12/12
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .